Saturday, 28 June 2014

Piggybacks, Planking and Plazas...

Would you piggyback your boss like this guy?
A few quirky China stories caught our eye this week --

An official in Jiangxi province was sacked when pictures surfaced of him getting a piggyback ride because he didn't want to ruin his designer shoes.

He didn't want to get his shoes soaked while inspecting the search for children missing during a flood due to heavy rains in the area.

The man is Wang Junhua, vice director of an unspecified government office in the city of Guixi. The poor guy who had to carry his boss was Ding Xianbao, a clerk.

We wonder if Ding was given a promotion for his troubles...

George Hood shows his planking skills at the Forbidden City
Then there was an ex-US Marine who came to Beijing to show people how to plank. It's a great exercise to build muscles in your abs -- or do you not know where they are?

You have to support yourself on your toes and your forearms and hold it there -- 30 seconds is a good start.

But for 56-year-old George Hood, it was four hours and one minute, beating his previous record of three hours and seven minutes. People cheered him on at the China National Convention Center.

"This was the biggest and most rewarding opportunity I've ever been presented with," Hood said two days after the event. "This probably surpasses my son's graduation. We captivated a whole country."

He even got Soho China co-founder Pan Shiyi and Gary Locke, former US Ambassador to China to get planking -- for a mere 10 minutes.

To break his own record, Hood trained for four hours a day for six months by doing an hour of cardio, two hours of planks, 150-200 pushups and 2,000 ab exercises.

How did he plank for over four hours without giving in? Hood listened to music, including Christian music, rock 'n' roll and ballads.

Better start planking again...

And finally we are thrilled to hear US politics has a way of giving China the finger. It may not have the financial muscle to overturn the trade imbalance but it can do this: The House Appropriations Committee voted to rename the road in front of the Chinese Embassy as "Liu Xiaobo Plaza", after the Nobel Prize-winning dissident who is serving an 11-year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power".

In future all correspondence from the Chinese Embassy will have to give its address at Liu Xiaobo Plaza. We wonder if the embassy is pondering whether it should move or not.

And we hope Liu is in his cell in Jinzhou, Liaoning province, laughing upon hearing this latest news. The US has not forgotten him.


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